The wait is over. My order for the Imago bag by Tom Bihn arrived today.
I wasn’t surprised to find the box all banged up upon arrival as I’d read a couple of comments on the Tom Bihn forum about UPS rough handling the parcels (have you ever toured a UPS facility to see the volume they handle daily?). What I was surprised about—especially after reading so many positive reviews—was my reaction to the amazing craftsmanship of the bag. Seriously. I was two steps short of taking a magnifying glass to marvel at the stitching and material. The cordura just feels amazingly sturdy and durable. It’s not stiff or rigid, but there’s some give to the material (so I’m glad I got the cache for my laptop). And the cork….. I had seen the video about how cork is harvested from Portugal (see, the bag is already well traveled!), and so in my mind I was thinking that it’d be rough in texture, similar to cork boards. But the cork is actually smooth if not soft to touch. It’s nice to look at and provides a textural contrast to the cordura (not to mention it’s water repellent, a cool tree, and cork forests are so biodiverse—birds! cats! greenery!).
Since the UPS Quantum View email alert was sent to me at 15:58, once I
rushed got home I promptly emptied out the contents of my Incase bag and put everything in the Imago. OH. MY. Not only did everything that was in my Incase bag fit into the Imago, but there was still room to spare. So I started taking some stuff out from my 2nd bag, an old college backpack that I leave on standby for my travels. I managed to fit in the cosmetics bag, my eyeglasses case, a pen/pencil case, tissues, and a rolled up Envirosax. This is in addition to the Macbook in the cache. I kept thinking, that’s just not right because I’m trying to go reform my rat packing tendencies!
The secret enablers are the organizer pouches. So of course, they’re my favorites so far. The beauty of the organizer pouches is that they’re multi-tasking: you can adjust what is in each pouch to your hearts desire. Really flexible. And you can clip them to the o-rings on the bag, which keeps everything in place and SO nicely organized and accessible (some are recommended not to be attached cause of breakage to the clips). The Imago wasn’t too bulky with all the items inside, and the standard shoulder strap did well in distributing the weight so in my 5’-2” frame I didn’t feel too lopsided (The standard strap is so well constructed, it made me curious about the Absolute Shoulder Strap.)
Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to putting my new Tom Bihn Imago bag to use. I already hankering for some other pouches, particularly the medium and pencil/pen pouches. And maybe some key straps. And then….. Ah, and so it begins, the Tom Bihn Bag Acquisition Syndrome.